Tablet ownership hits 30% in the UK

Tablet ownership hits 30% in the UK

Over 12 million UK adults -- equal to roughly 30 percent of the population -- now own a tablet according to the latest YouGov study, commissioned by Newsworks. What's more, interviews conducted as part of the survey show a further 7 percent of the population intend to purchase one before March of this year.

To put these numbers into perspective, the most recent figures from Nielsen, published in January, put tablet ownership in the US at 19 percent of the population, though they also highlight that smartphone penetration has already passed the 50 percent mark in North America.

In the UK, as in the US, tablets are proving to be most popular with those aged 45 and over, (50% of UK tablet owners are 45+ years old), but 1.3 million 18-24-year-olds (27% of age group) and 2.6 million or 35 percent of 25-34-year-olds now own one too.

When asked how they intend to use their devices, 54 percent of 18-24-year-olds and 60 percent of 25-34-year-olds said they would consume more news and, at 40 percent, 18-24-year-olds were the demographic most likely to download a national newspaper app in order to do so. However, nearly half (48%) of all owners said that they had downloaded between six and 40 apps within the first two days of ownership.

Retail sales reports also published this week highlight that tablets proved to be one of the must-have items this holiday season. The Dixons Retail Group -- the UK's largest bricks-and-mortar electrical retailer -- reported record sales of "well over 1 million" devices across its stores in Britain and its Elkjop chain in Nordic countries in the last quarter.

And although the YouGov survey doesn't report exact tablet sales figures, it does show that the majority of tablets bought were given as gifts to others, though 800,000 tablets were bought for personal or family use. The most popular tablet given as a gift was Amazon's Kindle Fire (35%) followed by an Apple iPad (24%) with Samsung's Galaxy Tab proving to be the third most popular tablet gift (12%).